Politics--part of human ecology

More reasons to question the wisdom of Medicare for all

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This HND piece examines just a few notorious federal government health program massive failures, and asks why we think they would do any better running the entire healthcare system.

First up is forced sterilizations, along with them being upheld by our Supreme Court. Then there's the Tuskegee Study, which looked at what might happen if syphilis goes untreated. Of course, that one kept going long after penicillin was the standard cure. And how about germ warfare testing using live pathogens sprayed over many big cities? Last but not least...all the fiascoes at our VA hospitals.

Oh yes. I do believe in Medicare For All, I do, I do, I dooooo.

Read the complete article.


The angels weep over L.A.'s public health crisis

This HND piece focuses on the rapidly deteriorating situation around the many homeless encampments in Los Angeles. It was easy enough for officials to cover things up until cases of typhus and typhoid have crept into the non-homeless population. And then there is the rat infestation of the City Hall complex, along with the fleas that come along for the ride.

As if that weren't bad enough, serious folks are predicting an outbreak of bubonic plague this summer. No, these aren't third world conditions, these are more like medieval conditions—so says LA-based Dr. Drew Pinsky.

There's really no choice now, but to get these homeless off the streets, and set up some sort of workfare for those who can; rehab the many addicts; and provide care for the mentally ill. Failing that, we'll be reading about bubonic plague in Beverly Hills and Bel-Air.

Read the complete article.


Medicare for all: Not the system you want

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This HND piece continues our take-down of the failed notion of "Medicare for all." We remind M4A fanboys that healthcare can never be a right if massive rationing gets in the way—and it always does in any "universal healthcare" scenario.  Then, there's the matter of fraud and abuse, which by some estimates comprises up to 30 percent of the current Medicare budget.

Consider that this figure would increase drastically if Medicare were expanded to cover everyone. And what's the answer to that? Legions of investigators? Funny how the government answer to healthcare never seems to expand, you know, the people who actually deliver healthcare.

We then cover a brilliant approach to charitable medicine from Dr. Alieta Eck.

Read the complete article.


More on Medicare for all

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This HND piece continues the exposure of the utter madness that is Medicare For All. We again refer to the earliest proponent of a healthcare system completely run by the federal government. You may have heard of him; his name was Adolf Hitler. And, we all know how that turned out.

With no co-pay, the only way this disaster could proceed is by rationing care, and forcing providers to work for far less. That such an insane measure could even have been proposed just shows you how ignorant and out of touch our "progressive" political class really is. Of course, there are also any number of moronic folks who work in healthcare that are also on-board.

Read the complete article.


Population health and conventional demographics: both in need of an overhaul

This HND article examines some of the problems with population health and conventional demographics, and then highlights valuegraphics as a way of fixing them.

In many cases, since population health is often used to evaluate the performance of accountable care organizations. As such, improvements seen in the aggregate are not reflected in quite the same way in individual patients. In fact, these ACOs, highly touted within Obamacare to lower Medicare costs, have actually done just the opposite.

Likewise, conventional demographics, whereby cohorts are simplistically arranged by age group, are not at all predictive of behavior within these groups. Instead, valuegraphics, in which value-based profiles are included within these age cohorts is far more predictive of behavior.

Read the complete article.


CDC, Coca-Cola, sugary drinks, and obesity

This HND piece examines the connection between sugary drinks and the obesity epidemic, while putting things in a historical context. Simply put, diets in the 1950s were high in what we would today call "junk food," yet, almost no one was fat. Of course, there was no body positivity movement either, and fat people were shamed.

We then segue into the matter of "collusion" between the Coca-Cola Company and the CDC, as demonstrated via e-mails, secured using the Freedom of Information Act—in a recently published study. However, the authors of the study come off a bit unhinged, as we explain.

Read the complete article.


Medicare for all

This HND piece examines the misguided proposal now in Congress of Medicare For All. First of all, it bears little resemblance to our current Medicare, in that there is NO cost-sharing. Zero out of pocket is unknown anywhere in the world, with the possible exception of Cuba. Indeed, co-pays in other socialized systems are around 20 percent.

To call it a budget buster is an understatement. If tax revenues were doubled, it will still not make up the shortfall. Moreover, the ten-year $32.6 trillion estimated added cost makes unrealistically rosy assumptions of admin cost savings and the willingness of providers to cut their fees by 40 percent. Incandescently stupid, and more so than most socialistic tripe.

Read the complete article.


Hear ye, hear ye

This HND piece covers a bill being promoted by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), that would allow certain types of hearing aids to be sold, without the need for a professional consult. At first blush, this seems like a reasonable libertarian concept—coming strangely from a Leftist senator. Besides, a professional consult is necessary for best results.

As it happens, Medicare and most private insurance do not cover hearing aids, even though hearing loss affects 48 million Americans, most of whom are on Medicare. One wonders why Warren was not an avid supporter of the bills that would have forced Medicare to cover these devices.

It might be because the company that would benefit the most from OTC hearing aids is in her state.

Read the complete article.


How to fundamentally transform the national healthcare system

This HND piece examines the radical—and completely sensible—ideas of physician/healthcare reform guru Kent Holtorf, MD.

Holtorf's main premise is that an insurance model, whereby even routine services are covered, is doomed to fail. This failure is based on the rather obvious point that such a model offers no incentive whatsoever for cost control, expect for arbitrary and bureaucratic meddling by the insurance carrier itself, in terms of simply rejecting claims. Related to this is the ridiculous situation in which prices are virtually unknown before the service is rendered.

Is there anything else you buy in which a price inquiry would be answered by the provider asking you what kind of insurance you have? As such, Holtorf says that all prices should be posted, allowing for comparison shopping. Otherwise, we will continue to have a climate of "send a giant bill to the insurance company, and see how much they will pay."

We cover a lot more in the complete article. For anyone who has ever been handed an ice pack in ortho-rehab, only to see it billed out as $40 for "cryotherapy," this article is for you.


Good advice from a public health dean?

This HND piece analyzes the silly pontifications of a well-known dean of a well-known school of public health. His particular comments were actually posted before the election, but he recast them as suggestions for President-elect Trump.

Since the guy is an academic, it's no surprise that he's not a fan of Trump, but I was astonished at the lack of originality in any of his suggestions. More than that, his suggestions reveal an astonishing lack of appreciation as to how his tired ideas have failed—badly—in the real world.

Really now, what's the point of having the bully pulpit, not to mention a captive audience of impressionable students, if all you're going to do is trot out the same failed solutions that date back to the 1960s, if not earlier?

Read the complete article.